A woman wearing a protective mask mourns near a makeshift memorial in London, Ontario, June 7, 2021, following a fatal attack. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the June 6 killing of the family members, who were mowed down by a pickup truck, "a terrorist attack." CNS photo/Carlos Osorio, Reuters

Hate act should ‘scandalize’ Catholics

  • June 10, 2021

Catholics should be “openly scandalized” by the “horrific act of hatred” that saw a Muslim family of five run down on a sidewalk because they were identifiably Muslim, said the director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute Deacon Andrew Bennett.

Using his truck as a weapon June 6, police allege a 20-year-old London, Ont., man deliberately crashed into a grandmother, parents and two children, killing four of them and leaving the nine-year-old in hospital. Authorities are weighing the option of pursuing terrorism charges, in addition to four counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

“Catholics absolutely need to stand with the Muslim community and with other faith communities that face any type of violence,” said Bennett, the director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute. “We should be joining with the Muslim community in these days in prayer for the souls of these poor people.”

London Bishop Ron Fabbro pledged that the Catholic community there will work with their Muslim brothers and sisters to root out hate wherever it exists.

“The Catholic community in London offers our support to our Muslim brothers and sisters, pledging to work together with them to end crimes of hate,” Fabbro said.

The Archdiocese of Toronto also offered prayers and condolences. “We join the Muslim community, London Mayor, Ed Holder, and all those who condemn this heinous act of violence,” it said in a statement.

An atmosphere of hate, or looking the other way when religious minorities face hatred, can be a threat to religious freedom even in a free and tolerant society like Canada, Bennett said.

“Religious freedom needs to be exercised fully so that we can have that common life together, so that we can live with one another,” he said. “There is no room for hate.”

(With files from Brian Dryden)

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